NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Culture Aid NOLA (CAN), the no-barrier food bank of New Orleans, will provide 2,000 local families with disaster preparedness supplies on July 16 at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. Kits including canned water, shelf-stable foods, 5 gallon buckets, baby wipes, trash bags, children’s activity books, and other essential supplies will be available at July Supply. The giveaway will serve both walk-up and drive up guests, and will feature brass bands and DJ’s.

CAN, known for serving fresh foods to over 3,000 people a week without barriers or stigma, responded to Hurricane Ida in 2021, rescuing over 100 restaurant coolers, and serving and distributing over 125,000 lbs of meals and groceries. Since March of 2020, the group has served over 2,464,431 pounds of food feeding over 2,000 families a month. 

“Given the reality of climate change, we have to change how we think about hurricane response and preparedness. Resilience begins at home,” explained Erica Chomsky-Adelson, executive director of CAN. “New Orleans families deserve to feel ready, no matter their circumstances. Many in our community don’t have 72 hours of supplies on a good day, much less when a storm is coming. Culture Aid NOLA and its partners are proud to once again help New Orleans lead the way in disaster planning with our inaugural preparedness event.”

The National Weather Service has predicted 14-21 named storms and 3-6 major hurricanes for the 2022 season, with the heaviest due in the period from late July to mid-October. For those with no choice to evacuate, having a pantry prepared with hurricane supplies is crucial for the days following a major storm. 

“What we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida was a willingness from folks across the nation to donate supplies and resources, but a major hurdle in getting them out into neighborhoods where the hardest-hit families are facing blocked streets and gas shortages.” Chomsky- Adelson said. “The best way to help our community is to get people what they need before they need it.”

Hurricane preparedness often means a mid-day run to fight for depleted stocks in lengthy lines at crowded supermarkets- a luxury working families of our city simply do not have. Evacuations are not an option for many residents, due to cost, time, transportation, or other barriers. CAN hopes to reach these families ahead of the storm this season, providing them with supplies useful during any loss of power, windstorm or major rain event that may affect the city in the coming months. “As inflation rises to a 40-year high and gas prices soar, helping our families get prepared to ride out storms is the most important act we can take now,” Chomsky-Adelson said. 

The July Supply event is a true collaborative effort, made possible by partners including: Center For Disaster Philanthropy, Good360, Conscious Alliance, Can’d Aid, Second Harvest, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans City Council members, NolaReady, VFW post 8973, Bastion Community of Resilience, Louisiana Fish Fry and Juan LaFonta.

Like all CAN events, no paperwork, identification or proof of income will be required for pickup at July Supply, and music- from Soul Brass Band, DJ Siphne, and other special guests will play along the distribution line to welcome guests. The exact schedule for July Supply as well as traffic access and public transportation access information for the distribution will be announced in the coming weeks as details are finalized.

Culture Aid NOLA is still accepting donations and partnerships. Follow @cultureaidnola or visit www.cultureaidnola.org/julysupply for the latest updates and information about how you can get supplies or get involved. If you are interested in making a bulk in-kind contribution please reach out to donations@cultureaidnola.org